No Hugging, Shaking As CAN Submits Guidelines To PTF On Reopening Of Churches
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has submitted guidelines for the reopening of churches to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
Among the guidelines are churches must ensure that worshippers do not engage in hugging or having handshakes before, during and after services.
Churches are also mandated to disinfect their premises, provide water and soap for worshippers to wash their hands, as well temperature readers at entrances.
Recall that the federal government banned all religious and social gatherings, as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, few weeks ago, ordered gradual easing of lockdown, which saw the reopening of selected businesses while worship centres remained closed.
Following calls for the reopening of worship centres, the PTF recently asked CAN to submit guidelines for the reopening of churches.
After a meeting between CAN, National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the PTF, special assistant to CAN President, Bayo Oladeji, disclosed that the national Christian body has submitted guidelines to the PTF, according to Tribune Online.
Oladeji said the guidelines include: “churches should disinfectant their premises first before they are reopened for services. Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the Church.
“Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers. The temperature of every worshipper must be screened before admission into the church and people with the high temperature should be advised to go and see their doctors.
“Every worshipper must wear facemask. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with a one-meter gap between two worshippers. One hour service for a start. All Sunday services to end on or at 5:30 pm.
“There should be a gap of 10 minutes between one service or another where there are multiple services to avoid crowd. Churches can make use of classrooms and multipurpose halls for services where available especially in big churches in order to accommodate more worshippers at a go. TV circuit and speakers can be used for those who are not inside the main auditorium.
“Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service. Children should worship with their parents. Prayers should be offered to God for a speedy end of COVID-19 and quick recovery of all that are afflicted by the pandemic. Prayers should also be offered for those frontline workers for divine protection. CAN will constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies to enforce the full compliance.”